Every family in Australia knows what it’s like to love someone who is struggling with their mental health, but after decades of effort and billions of dollars in investment, the problem is getting worse not better.
At Australians for Mental Health we believe in the power of disruption and transformational change.
We believe that by:
- Forming a Broad Alliance of civil society to work together on a shared agenda of ideas for cultural change and common solutions ...
- ...in conjunction with Place-based Community Organising through deeply connected national grassroots community networks we can ...
- Influence Decision-makers and make mental health an urgent national priority.
Our early discussions with stakeholders and community members has shown us there is a lot of energy and clarity on what needs to happen. Our task is to now organise those ideas into a common agenda, and then create the collaborative space, and energy, to make that change possible.
How we will do it
A Broad Alliance - working to a common solution for transformational change
We are building a broad-based alliance of organisations who share the goal of fundamentally transforming the way Australia thinks and acts on mental health. Not just mental health providers, but organisations from across civil society, business and faith that share an interest in disrupting the mental health status quo.
With a clear and shared picture of transformational change and the interventions that might achieve it, we can collectively speak to a common agenda in all our work, and identify opportunities to work together to achieve elements of that agenda.
Place-based Community Organising
We believe there is widespread private support for better mental health, but not public support. Shame is still a powerful inhibitor to public action. But change can only happen with a groundswell of action across the suburbs and towns of Australia.
Imagine the power of 200 leaders in a place like, say, Geelong, coming together in a public assembly to connect with each other, listen, tell stories, and build relationships.
Then imagine the energy that such a gathering produces powering a shared set of priorities for making mental health in that community better, while also adding to the chorus of chives nationally pressuring decision-makers to do better.
We believe we can make mental health an urgent national priority by influencing decision-makers, engaging politicians in their communities, and helping high profile Australians use their platforms in an intentional way.
Imagine 100 well-known leaders co-signing an open letter that is published in the major newspapers of the nation. And those same people using their microphones to demand change as well as mobilising their networks and organisations for change.
Imagine the Prime Minister’s next photo opportunity with a sports star including a side bar about mental health.
Imagine citizens engaging with their MPs - not lobbying, but welcoming them into spaces we convene to share stories about the pressure a broken mental health approach needlessly creates.
Developing Lasting Community Leadership Capacity
Built into all our work are intentional actions that foster new and ongoing leadership so that the capacity to drive change extends beyond us, continues without us, and flourishes out of our control.
Strengthening community resilience that lasts long after this project is over. Change that disrupts generations of disadvantage and fosters community that is capable of solving many problems as they arise.